Water Quality Index Aggregation and Cost Benefit Analysis
The water quality index (WQI) has emerged as a central way to convey water quality information to policy makers and the general public and is regularly used in US EPA regulatory impact analysis. It is a compound indicator that aggregates information from several water quality parameters. Several recent studies have criticized the aggregation function of the EPA WQI, arguing that it suffers from “eclipsing” and other problems. Although past papers have compared various aggregation functions in the WQI (usually looking at correlation), this is the first paper to examine these functions in the context of benefit-cost analysis. Using data from the 2003 EPA CAFO rule, the present paper examines four aggregation functions and their impact on estimated benefits. Results indicate that the aggregation method can have a profound effect on benefits, with total benefit estimates varying from $82 million to $504 million dollars. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis does not find convincing evidence to substitute the current aggregation function, although several changes to the underlying WQI methodology may be warranted.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2012|
|Date of revision:||Jul 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460|
Web page: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ron Johnston, 2005. "On journals," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(1), pages 2-8, January.
- Van Houtven, George & Powers, John & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K., 2007. "Valuing water quality improvements in the United States using meta-analysis: Is the glass half-full or half-empty for national policy analysis?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 206-228, September.
- Robert J. Johnston & Elena Y. Besedin & Richard Iovanna & Christopher J. Miller & Ryan F. Wardwell & Matthew H. Ranson, 2005. "Systematic Variation in Willingness to Pay for Aquatic Resource Improvements and Implications for Benefit Transfer: A Meta-Analysis," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(2-3), pages 221-248, 06.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201205. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Cynthia Morgan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.